The 5 Best Traeger Grills
Among the wood pellet grill manufacturers, Traeger is one of the best. They are known for the quality of their products and the deliciousness of the food their grills produce.
Traeger makes grills small enough to fit on a backsplash and large enough to feed a crowd. There are also models with luxury features such as stainless steel grills and controllers with WiFi connectivity. These heavy-duty grills can represent a considerable financial investment.
At homegoodsdeal, we’re here to give you the facts you need to make an informed buying decision. We’ve provided a shopping guide to help you navigate through the list of features you might find on a Traeger grill. Our top five are in the product list at the top of the page.
TRAEGER GRILL FEATURES TO CONSIDER
Traeger grills enable you to grill, braise, smoke, bake, roast, or barbecue in your backyard with one cooking device without the use of charcoal or gas.
- The process starts when you load the hopper with wood pellets. There are many types of wood pellets available, such as apple, cherry, and maple, and each imparts a unique flavor to the food.
- An auger at the bottom of the hopper moves the pellets to the hot rod, which ignites the pellets.
- A draft induction fan circulates air into the grill to cook the food.
Traeger grills come in a number of sizes and with different features to think about before you buy.
Grill sizes range from tabletop models (173 square inches of grilling space) to larger models for patios (1,300 square inches of grilling space with three racks). To determine the size you need, consider the number of people you regularly cook for and the type of food you want to cook. For your convenience, Traeger will tell you the size of their grill and how many whole chickens, rack of ribs and hamburgers will fit on the grill.
- Tabletop pellet grills: These models weigh around 40 pounds, measure about 20 inches x 19 inches, and have a small hopper, but they provide the same barbecuing and grilling capabilities as larger models. If you only cook for two or if you want to smoke and grill while camping or tailgating, a portable tabletop model might be right for you.
- Traditional pellet grills: These models look more like a typical backyard charcoal or gas grill than the distinct hopper design. But on the inside they have all the features of a pellet grill, including a hopper and digital controller. These grills can do everything other pellet grills can with the addition of underneath storage with doors. Some have double racks for extra grilling space.
- Pellet grills with or without smoke pipe: This easily recognizable design has a hopper on the side, a barrel-shaped grilling area, and a smoke pipe. Some have a sawhorse-like frame for extra stability. Others have straight or foldable legs. The grill size varies, but if you want to create competition-worthy barbecue, these are the grills for you.
The hopper purge feature allows you to empty the hopper while cooking, so you can switch the pellets to a different flavor while grilling. This feature is not available on all Traeger grills. You may only need it if you cook different foods for a crowd or if you like to use many different flavors in one meal.
The larger the grill area, the larger the pellet hopper. Countertop models can hold up to 5 pounds of pellets, while the largest models can hold up to 24 pounds. Keep in mind that larger hoppers do not need to be filled as often.
Traditionally, Traeger grills have straight legs with two or four wheels. Some smaller models have foldable legs to make the grill more portable. Some models now have legs that resemble sawhorses, providing a wider, more stable base.
- Digital Elite: This good, basic digital controller provides accurate temperature control but doesn’t include meat probe connectors.
- Digital Pro: This controller includes either one or two meat probes that display the meat temperature on the controller display and let you easily adjust the temperature.
- WiFIRE: This trademarked controller connects to a smartphone app for mobile control from anywhere within range. You can check the temperature and status of your food simply by checking your phone.
TRAEGER GRILL PRICES
Expect to pay between $300 and $1,600 and more for a Traeger wood pellet grill.
- Cheap: For $300 to $500, you’ll find a tabletop Traeger grill or a small grill with about 300 square inches of cooking space. You can smoke and grill enough food for two to four people. These models include the Digital Elite controller.
- Mid-range: In the $500 to $1,000 range are larger grills from 520 to 880 square inches. On the largest model in this price range, this is enough to hold 40 hamburgers. Many of these grills feature hopper cleanouts as well as sturdy side handles and all-terrain wheels for moving the grill over rocks and gravel. These models feature Digital Elite or Digital Pro controllers.
- Expensive: For $1,000 to $1,600, you’ll find a large grill for serious people. If you want a pellet grill that looks like a traditional grill, then you can find it here. Most have 425 to 800 square inches of space or room for 32 to 40 hamburgers.
- Premium: Priced at more than $1,600, you’ll find Traeger grills with up to 1,300 square inches of grill space, three grills and hopper cleanouts. The WiFIRE digital controller with smartphone app allows you to check the temperature and control the grill from anywhere within WiFi range. All-terrain wheels allow you to move these grills over gravel or sand.
- Match the temperature range of your grill to your grilling needs. Most Traegers have a maximum temperature of 450°F, but some top-of-the-line models can reach 500°F for quick cooking of skirt steak or kebabs.
- Match the accessories to your needs. Traeger grills are available with many additional accessories, such as full-length grill covers, bottom racks that attach to the legs, and power inverters that connect the grill directly to your car battery for the ultimate portable grill. If you live in a cold climate, don’t forget the heat shield that enables you to cook in winter temperatures.
- Match wood chip pellets to your food. Certain types of wood chip pellets taste better when used to cook different foods. Slightly sweet maple pairs well with pork. Or try using fish as a legume. If you’re looking for general purpose pellets, alder has a mild flavor that works well with almost anything.